We visit Carlo Aymonino and Aldo Rossi’s experimental housing project in the Gallaratese district of Milan, completed in Stretching out over feet, the front façade of Aldo Rossi’s Gallaratese housing block stands as a challenge to all the apartment buildings around it: do it, do it. Located in the city of Milan, the Gallaratese II housing complex has the capacity to house inhabitants. Aldo Rossi designed the complex at the ‘Gallaratese.

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Originally purchased for the use of commercial agriculture, it was pinpointed as a key site for development by architects and planners devising a post-war masterplan for new housing in Milan. The flats are arranged between tallaratese walls above the arcade on two and three floors with deck access.

The landscape has matured, people have occupied the walkways with their plants in a way that feels galalratese, and there is an ugly suspended ceiling in the arcade. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Completed in the mids, it was a time when both Italian architects would soar to prominence on the international architecture scene.

‘Inspiration; Aldo Rossi’s Gallaratese Housing’ by Peter St John « Caruso St John Architects

You are commenting using your Facebook account. His architecture was built to endure generations and be reused and repurposed according to the needs of future societies, an idea that lead to the clean, rational design, to the simple architecture of colonnades, balconies and oversized circular columns, symbols open to interpretation. His postmodern approach was known as neo-rationalism or neo-fascism by gallarateze contemporary critics. At Gallaratese, Aymonino designed complex typologies of apartments, stacked up upon each other at various recessions, alternating glass blocks with balconies and red window frames.

It had an amazing presence for its small scale, moored just near the huge dome of the basilica Santa Maria della Salute. The order of dreams on the other hand is the gallarstese block. Therefore, the problematic of house, place and space within the city is being dealt with at three main levels. Aldo Rossi May 3, — September 4, was an Italian architect and theoretician, well known for his very austere architecture and design. Both architects belonged to the neo-rationalist school of thought, which held up historic architecture alvo an example to be followed.

Coming back to visit the Gallaratese again last month, the place feels more charming than before. The machines that service the building gallartese represented by the various types of stairs that mediate between the various types of spaces.

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His forms were always very basic, coming from recognisable roots or typologies, but overlaid with the imagination of the architect. It was Rossi who said that his basic principle was to persistently hold to only one theme.

Gallaratese housing in Milan by Aldo Rossi

At operational level, understanding house typology from history helps formulating conclusions and achieve critical thinking. Years later people will walk past it in the sun and the rain and if it is done well they will appreciate its lasting quality, even if it has been modified or they are using it quite differently from how you intended.

At Gallaratese, the architects designed covered and uncovered yellow walkways to connect the apartments to each other and the city outside, as well as public space — a central amphitheatre and two triangular shaped plazas to socially serve the community.

At the mid-point, there was a sort of interruption of shapes in the light, a massive rise of steps and some big round columns.

Red window frames, glass blocks and balconies create a sense of rhythm unfolding across the facades of the housing complex. You find themes and ideals then, and if you are persistent and fortunate you will realise them later in life.

Gallaratese II Housing

But it still has this melancholic, monumental quality that made such an impression on me thirty years ago. Our gallery in Walsall for example, with its tower of clay tiles and windows, makes a monumental form as a point of focus for the future extension of the town, but also acts as a mirror, a way of looking out and seeing the melancholy industrial landscape around the site as something magnificent. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

It can be defined as the metaphor that is the house. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here After visiting the Biennale, I went to Milan to see the Gallaratese project. The brief from the City of Milan to the architects was to design a low-income housing complex that integrated green space, public services and connections to the city within its plan.

The public realm is located at lower ground floor in a continuous line and access to flats above is made through balcony corridors, via 5 staircase cores, running along the line of the public realm. I had been given a travel scholarship to visit some buildings by Terragni, which had been written about at that time by Peter Eisenman, with a formal analysis that now seems fetishistic. Of course this was to continue. When architect Carlo Aymonino started working on the designs for an affordable housing complex commissioned by the City of Milan inhe wanted to reflect his neo-rationalist ideas and theories for a future urban community.


Harry Lambert At Gallaratese, Aymonino designed complex typologies of apartments, stacked up upon each other at various recessions, alternating glass blocks with balconies and red window frames. At that time, the idea of looking at the history of architecture for models was new, and also completely different from the open-ended empiricism of my architectural education. It was moving that such concrete simplicity could hold such allusions.

The order of machines acts as mediator between rooms, it is the servant system that defines the space as being a house. The order of rooms deals with the sum of spaces that make up the house, both within the house boundaries and without.

I visited this building when I was twenty, which is an impressionable age and it was the moment I first felt what was interesting in Classicism, and how it was possible to do a piece of modern architecture with Classical themes.

In the context of a renewed welfare state, speculations on the future of mobility and the pressing need for a new type of house, this project is aiming at rethinking the civilian dream in the context of the contemporary city. Therefore, the realm of machines incorporate both static furniture, stairs and ramps and active systems, such as ducts, pipes, vents, fridges and so on.


Notify me of new comments via email. The whole building is relentlessly basic and singular alod its concept. It is not read as housing block anymore but as a series of individual rooms, with separate machines and dreams. First, squatters controversially occupied it. Rossi had the idea that buildings should show the passage of time and these columns remind me of the famous roesi of him standing between the columns of the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

Underneath it is an arcade that starts at the street and extends into the centre of the estate, leading to other buildings. The atmosphere was heightened like on a stage and it was dramatic, but not in a rhetorical way as it was somehow also tender to the figures. After completion, init was met with negative criticism from both future inhabitants and architectural critics, as a neo-fascist political agenda.

It is a non-descriptive building type, designed to later change its function.